DBGB Kitchen and Bar, the mecca of sausage, burgers, beer, and men, was an absolute blast. I may have had a tainted experience, as I was seated in the private room with windows open to the kitchen, but the food was excellent, and the restaurant shares New York’s upbeat energy in a classy, modern setting.
I was fortunate enough to dine at DBGB for a work event, and even more fortunate to have been able to taste a ton of dishes (I was with generous eaters, and our menu consisted of many courses). To start, we were served a unique array of fruits de mer, ranging from raw oysters and clams, to narrow shells I could hardly recognize. The plateau was definitely impressive, but only awe-inspiring to the die hard, adventurous seafood fans.
The next course was only minimally tamer: the sausage tasting. I’ve always said I love sausage, but I think I’ve been imagining Aidell’s chicken apple sausage, or the Morning Star breakfast links when considering my sausage opinion. But this sausage was unlike anything I’ve tasted, some intriguing in a good way, others in a this-is-too-undecipherable-to-like bad way. The taste of the lamb sausage was a bit too reminiscent of the smell of a sheep farm, but I honestly think some people enjoy that intense gamey flavor. My favorite was the Pork & Cheddar Link; the “Beaujolaise” served with lentils was also enjoyable. Though none of the sausages thrilled me, I can imagine the tasting would have been like heaven to some of the true sausage fans I know. Still, I respect the originality of the idea – I’ve never seen a restaurant with such a diverse menu specialize in such a wide variety of sausages.
I chose the salad as my appetizer knowing that I would be noshing on everything anyone would let me try – I really wanted to give this place a justified review. Surprisingly, the chop-chop salad reigned supreme – crisp, light, and chilled, with avocado, watermelon, and a subtly creamy dressing, it was delicious and interesting.
I also had a chance to taste their amazingly fresh Maine Peeky Toe Crab Salad, which included edamame, snow peas, and pickled rhubarb that gave it an awesomly crunchy texture. Would definitely order that next time around.
For my main course, I opted for the seared salmon with gnocchi, which I thought was incredible. I am a huge salmon fan, and this was perfectly cooked – just slightly pink in the middle, and the ricotta gnocchi just melted in my mouth. I also snagged a few bites of my friend’s yankee burger (a classic burger), which was delicious and moist, though a bit hard to eat. To mix my food consumption even more, I tried my other friend’s house made tagliolini with tomato sauce and sheep’s milk ricotta - honestly, this could have come straigh from nonna’s kitchen. This just proved to me that DBGB can play the part for the meat lover, the seafood fan, and the vegetarian – both a specialist and a generalist, and definitely a success!
Dessert was even worthy of a review. I ordered the chocolate chocolate sundae - which consisted of 3 huge scoops of chocolate ice cream, chocolate truffles, mini cookies, a massive amount of whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Talk about heart attack, but what a refreshing sight in a city of tablespoon-sized ice cream servings and miniaturized desserts. And, it tasted incredible – talk about chocolate overload (in a good way!) I also tasted a chocolate brownie-like cake with fruit. Many people love this, but I thought it needed some whipped cream or some ice cream to sweeten up the bitterness of the chocolate. So, a crowd pleaser to some, but nothing I would personally order.
Though I wasn’t necessarily wowed but DBGB’s specialty items, the sausages, I loved almost everything else I tasted, and really fell in love with the restaurant’s atmosphere. Perfect for a night where you want to keep the energy up, see a lot of interesting, sophisticated, and important people, and have a wide variety of high quality choices to eat. The menu has something for everyone, and the service is polished, accommodating, and efficient. And, most importantly, the cocktail list is wonderful – I failed to mention that the DBGB tea with vodka was a little too easy to go down – it was smooth, not too sweet, and tasty.
I would definitely recommend DBGB to anyone looking for a fun place with delicious food, and I plan to bring my parents there when they visit in October!
Address: 299 Bowery at First Street